World Around Me

Ecological Practices in a School #AtoZChallenge

eEcological practices that are good are of utmost importance if we want to give a better world to our future generation. Here is a one of a kind school that has some of the best ecological and sustainability practices, and aims to groom children into better citizens of the world.

Amidst the Palani hills of Tamil Nadu, in the lush green terrain of Kodaikanal is the quaint “Sholai School”. This is no ordinary school. For here, children learn with no fear or stress. There aren’t any awards, nor are they any punishments. There aren’t any exams nor is there a rush to get ahead. As serene as the landscape, is the school’s holistic approach to learning, laying emphasis on hands on experiences to open up young minds.

Glance of the school

One of the most distinctive characteristic of Sholai School is its ecological and sustainability practices. Self-sufficient in terms of food grains, fruit and vegetables, and dairy products, much of its food is grown in its own back yard, using organic farming methods. It even exports home-grown coffee to Germany. The food that is cooked in Sholai is 100% vegetarian, using bio gas. So it’s fresh food, healthy food. The dairy not only produces organic milk but also organic cheese. Water from the hilly streams, wells and rain water harvesting, meets the requirements of the school, without having to depend on the municipal supply. And if this wasn’t enough, it uses renewable energy all along. Power is generated through photovoltaic panels and a micro-hydroelectric turbine, independent of the town grid electricity. There are solar panels in the entire school and four biogas plants to fuel the kitchen.  

The Sholai School is the brainchild of Brian Jenkins, a British social anthropologist. “The aim is to produce responsible citizens of the Earth, who would not only relish the fruits of the earth but also learn to preserve it in return.” Says Mr. Jenkins.

Sholai is definitely one of a kind where children farm, segregate and recycle waste, manage livestock, learn carpentry making every piece of furniture for the school, and in addition, learn horse riding, swimming, outdoor and indoor games, yoga, trekking and bird watching.

Glad there are schools like this unlike those that push children into the usual competitive rut!

This is a part of my journey exploring 26 lesser known shades of a country called India, with the #AtoZChallenge 2016!!!

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